In 1965, architect Buckminster Fuller designed and patented the Fly’s Eye Dome. At the time, the design was a prototype for low-cost portable housing of the future. The three shelters that were produced were comprised of a series of transparent domed windows across a fiberglass partial sphere, creating a geodesic bubble. Fuller believed the building could house solar panels and water collection systems in some of its openings, offering an entirely self-sufficient residence.
Fast-forward nearly 50 years and the Buckminster Fuller Institute commissioned a team of 3d design specialists to recreate one of the original domes using modern materials and technologies. The team, made up of DRDesign, Conform Labs and Goetz Composites created the structure to feature a re-designed lower truncation, a new joining system that prevents water penetration and a passive ventilation system.
The completed dome was installed in front of Sou Fujimoto’s soon-to-be-complete Palm Court Shopping Center in Miami atop a pool of water. A spiral staircase inside the structure connects the courtyard with an underground car park directly beneath. The installation coincides with the 2014 Design Miami event.